Charity fights on over hotel

Plans to convert the former hotel were turned down.
Plans to convert the former hotel were turned down.

A decision to throw out plans to turn a former Motherwell hotel into a centre for people with addictions and other problems is being challenged.

Charity Betel UK is appealing against North Lanarkshire Council’s refusal of planning permission.

In June councillors unanimously rejected the proposal for the Old Mill near Braidhurst Street.

It followed a campaign of local opposition which resulted in 433 people signing petitions.

Objectors said they didn’t want a drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centre “right in the middle of our close knit community”.

Betel says it helps turn lives around by offering training in skills such as landscape gardening and furniture restoration, and provides a drugs and alcohol-free environment.

David Murphy, who had planned to run the Motherwell centre, told the committee he was a heroin addict who now wants to give something back.

It was proposed to offer accommodation for up to 26 people, including staff.

Adrian Smith, Mr Murphy’s agent, said: “We are trying to help people with challenging life circumstances. All communities have people who suffer problems. Everything we can do to help address these has to be welcomed.”

Elaine Morris, who led objections to the plan, said she has written to the Scottish Government, which is handling Betel’s appeal, to re-affirm her opposition.

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes